M6531 Unlined Parka – so much fun…


And this really was a fun project. I broke a few personal barriers – the color, the fabric, the actual utility of doing a parka. At the end, I’m really happy…

I’ve had M6531 for at least 3 years. I just like the design and the idea that it’s unlined. Living in Florida, I really cannot use a lined jacket or coat. But, I do get chilly. Not just in winter, but simply going into the grocery store or a restaurant.

line artEvery review I’ve read has been positive. People like sewing it, and they like wearing it.

I’m with them! Pics with the collar/zip all the way up…



Before I go much further, some notes on what I changed, what worked for me:

  • I sewed the size Medium. Perfect.
  • I used cotton ripstop fabric from Fabric.com. I love it. I pre-laundered it twice, and it just gets softer with use, and it’s cotton!
  • The parka has a lot of ‘traditional’ details. I chose not to use most of them. I used a front zip without a right-side overlap band. And did not use any buttons anywhere.


  • I also did not used a cuffed sleeve. Mine is lengthened a bit to accommodate the lost length, and it’s sewn with a simple hem. I’m just not fussy.
  • I designed my own pockets (I did not like the options in the pattern, which I think are too small and uninteresting, plus I really do not like bellows pockets or fly-away pocket flaps). Mine is big and has an inverted center pleat, topped with a band, and curved bottom corners.


Other notes:

  • I based my jacket on a combo of View C and D. And I redrafted the front and back hems to be on an even horizontal.
  • To be sure my front zipper was long enough, I ordered a 36″ zipper from Wawak.com. It’s a plastic #5 separating zipper. It was about 1″ too long, but was easily adjusted at the top. The pic below shows the zipper, and the 325 cord/cord stoppers that I ordered from Paracordplanet.com (great site…it can be hard to find 325 cord in colors). All of these notions were described as ‘royal blue’, and, amazingly, they all worked with the fabric and each other. Faith…


  • Although I ordered enough cord and cord stoppers to run it through the hemline, I decided not to do it. I like the simplicity without it.

So – more pics!



And the cutest Rocket Dog sneakers ever…


I’m jazzed. This might show up again in dragonfruit pink  or purple 🙂 Ciao – Coco

Working on a cropped jacket – love this!

Collarless Peplum Jacket 11/2016 #125 

I don’t usually open with a photo of an inspiration piece – but this one got me. I found it a few days ago on Burda Style, and fell for it.  I should spend more time cruising Burda Style. I really enjoy their patterns, which are rich in details, trendy, nicely drafted, and really affordable. Since I like to tape paper together, for whatever reason 🙂 their PDF patterns are right up my alley. BTW, the jacket on the left is done in jacquard, the one on the right in ‘shimmered’ jersey (which I now need).

This pattern is only 15 printed pages – the peplum is a rectangle, for which dimensions are given. Check it out! A two-part sleeve, flat-fitted band collar, interesting peplum, darted bodice, and a gorgeous 2-part back yoke

line artThe line art really doesn’t do the pattern justice, but the inspiration photos do. I have been working on a muslin in corded denim, something of which I had remnants, for a couple days.

I loved everything until I got to the fit of the sleeve, which is very gathered in the sleeve cap and somewhat narrow. So I stopped there.

What really worked:

  • First, the bodice and its components fit perfectly. I sewed the size 38, with no changes.
  • The collar is beautiful. It’s not a stand-up mandarin collar. It’s fitted and and lays down perfectly. Isn’t this pretty!? I’m so happy to find this, because collars and standing neck bands typically bug me so much. This one feels great.


  • An unexpected approach to the collar – the inside collar is attached to the facing, and the outside collar is attached to the neckline. A bit of sewing, and one has a perfectly smooth finish at the front edge. No lumps, bumps, or worry about getting the curved seam and facing to meld. I’m going to use this approach every time I can. Kudos to Burda, whose instructions tend to be minimal, but still highlight something like this construction detail.
  • To make life easy and carefree, I made a little template of the collar front along the stitching lines, and I used a Frixion pen transfer them for perfectomundo curved seams…


  • Next up – I love love love this back yoke. What a stunning deeply-curved seam…


I’ll be using this in tops, cardi’s, jackets, and coats forever.

I sewed the peplum, but didn’t attach it once I decided the sleeve was not for me. Also, the pattern is designed for a lining, but I’m not likely to wear a lined jacket here in Florida. I need flow!

However, bottom line, I really like this pattern, it stimulates my imagination and has so many details that appeal to me. The design can easily be used on the Grainline Tamarack or the Republique du Chiffon Veste Bernadette, both of which I have, for a similar look. My cropped jacket journey is just beginning.

Ciao! Coco




Gifts – mug rugs and baby snakes!



Ha! I finished my last DIY holiday gifts!

I always do kitty thingies for Ashley and Darrin, parents to SIX kitties. And, yes, sometimes it’s hard to find something new. But I lucked out this year – two cute gifts.



First up, mug rugs. Actually, these could be used as treat mats as well. I started with a cat pocket pattern that I found on SelfAssemblyRequired’, no charge, courtesy of Emily. It’s adorable.


And the size is perfect for a mug rug.



I used 2 layers of fabric, with fusible fleece on one to add a little body and support the quilting. The rug was sewn right sides facing, turned, topstitched around the edges and quilted in the center.

Easy peasy 🙂 And a very quick project.

I did a variety of themes, including The Walking Dead (of course) and a Peeps version to match Ashley’s scrapbooking apron.


Thank you, Emily!

Second gift, and this one is for the kitties themselves, Catnip Baby Snakes from Sew4Home (here). I’ve become addicted to this site – what great DIY ideas and projects.


These are about 10″ long and are stuffed with poly filling and a generous portion of organic catnip. OK, a pause. What catnip isn’t organic? Anyway, these are so merry and different!

I used cotton calico paired with sherpa fleece. And I made a real mess with the catnip. But the suggested funnel didn’t work well for me, so I just used a spoon and smushed it inside. Plus, I didn’t mind the mess – DIY is supposed to be messy.


I used a tube turner to turn the snakes inside out, and a chopstick to stuff them.


Parting shot: he just knows Christmas is coming.


Bye for now – Coco

Holidays! Quilted Storage Pod

Beth Studley Storage Pod

Time to get  busy – the holidays will be here in a flash!

And every year I wonder what in the world I’ll make for the family – hopefully something they haven’t received half a dozen times already. Of course, they do wear out the PJs, shoe bags, cat treat mats, etc. But it’s nice to throw something new into the mix.

Enter these adorable quilted storage pods, designed by Beth Studley (aka ‘Love from Beth’). I saw them way back in April, in a Craftsy newsletter, and purchased the pattern right away. They’re perfect to catch hair bands, pens and pencils, sewing scraps, love notes, die cast cars, dinosaurs, all sorts of little thingies…

Source and pattern: Craftsy.com

Some sewing notes:

  • The instructions are to quilt the main fabric, batting, and lining together, and sew ten darts to shape the pod. After the pod is constructed (side sewn, base attached), those darts are still visible on the inside – which would really bug me.Instead, I sewed my pod with a bagged lining, which results in a very nice finish. And it’s easy to do – quilt just the shell and batting together, and construct it as one piece. Then construct the lining the same way, but without batting. Insert the lining in the shell, and it’s ready for binding.
No exposed darts or seams!
  • Since I’m not adept at free-motion quilting on my machine, I used straight lines to quilt my main fabric and batting together.


  • The pattern includes a shaped piece for the binding, but I just cut a long strip of fabric on the bias, 1.5″ wide, and used that instead.

pd 3

  • I used low-loft batting because I had a remnant that was just the right size. However, fusible fleece would work really well (maybe better, since it’s a little stiffer), or even several layers of flannel. Whatever is on hand 🙂
  • My pod is 6″ high at the center front, and 9.5″ high at the center back, with a base diameter of 4.25″. Overall, a little smaller than indicated on the pattern.
  • and last note – this pattern is rated as intermediate skill level. I really think it’s pretty easy, and it would be a nice stretch for a beginning sewist. Required skills include quilting, adding a binding, and  sewing darts.

Ciao! Coco


New PJs – essential sewing!


At last, cool weather has arrived. For those of us in south Florida, that means night temperatures in the fifties. Not cold! But what a difference. Our dry season has begun, with lower humidity and the beautiful temperate days that bring so many people to Florida for the winter. Best of all – open windows, fresh air, and no A/C!

I get the urge to sew new PJs in the fall and in the spring. I’m wearing these as I write, and I might not take them off until next year! It’s my only matching ‘winter’ PJ set – I admit that most of my PJs are collection of T-shirts and leggings that have been downgraded from the closet to the drawer 🙂 Terrible… and I plan to grit my teeth and do something about that! Soon.


The top is a modified Wiksten tank, and bottoms are Love Notions Sabrina Slims.


These are two great patterns that I’ve used over and over. The Wiksten top is designed for woven fabrics, and I’ve sewn some cute sleeveless versions in simple cottons, but it works beautifully with knits as well.


In a totally different direction, I just finished a nightgown that’s pretty enough to wear all day. I’m so in love with this rayon challis print from Cali Fabrics.


The gown is a mix of elements – I used a favorite bodice sloper, with a 1.5″ wide waistband (it’s faced on the inside), and a gathered skirt that’s simply a 50″w x 38″l rectangle.n1  n4

When I wear this, I match my house 🙂

I hope everyone has a nice weekend, spent doing favorite things.

Bye for now – Coco